24 August 2023

$3.6 million for new child development program across Torres and Cape

| Matt Nicholls
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Health Minister Shannon Fentiman on a recent trip to Thursday Island Hospital.

A NEW child development program is being launched across Cape York and the Torres Strait.

The Torres and Cape Hospital and Health Service received $3.6 million from the state government’s Connected Community Pathways program to fund the new service.

The new service will see the establishment of a mobile visiting allied health team to work in collaboration with local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander allied health assistants.

The team will travel directly to see and treat patients at their local health care centres across the region.

The team will include speech pathologists, occupational therapists, physiotherapists, psychologists, social workers, and dietitians.

They will provide specialist assessment, diagnosis, and support of children with complex developmental delays, medical conditions, and disabilities as well the provision of ongoing therapy and support, and the building of local capacity in targeted communities.

“I am passionate about ensuring Queensland children get the best quality healthcare, no matter where they live,” said Health Minister Shannon Fentiman.

“Our government’s $67.5 million Connected Community Pathways program is providing initiatives that improve access to health care for people living in remote Queensland, such as our Virtual Emergency Department telehealth service.

“The $3.6 million new child development program will bring health care directly to communities, with teams of allied health professionals travelling to, and operating from their local Primary Health Care Centre.

“Our children deserve the best, and this program means less travel for families and less demand on our hospitals.

“The Torres and Cape Hospital and Health Service is one of four successful funding applications related to child development, along with Darling Downs HHS, Wide Bay HHS and Children’s Health Queensland HHS.”

Torres and Cape Hospital and Health Service executive director of allied health Amanda Wilson said: “Recruitment for the child development team is under way.

“The move to establish the child development program was a result of a Local Area Needs Assessment project which was undertaken by the health service last year to better understand community health needs.

“Through that project, it was identified that maternal and child health and child development was the absolute top priority.

“We are thrilled to have been selected as a funding recipient to provide these much-needed services for our communities, and work toward our goals of investing in healthcare in the first 2000 days of life.”

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